refusal of Attlee and the Labour Party to face up to growing threats from
abroad. Between 1931 and 1937 Labour adopted what can only be described as a
policy of unilateral disarmament and isolation. The Labour Party Conference in
1932 unanimously passed a motion pledging the party to ‘take no part in war and
to resist it with the whole force of the Labour movement’.
In the key defence spending votes of the mid-1930s (the March 1935 debate on the Defence White Paper, the 1935 and 1936 army, navy and air estimates, and the 1937 Defence Loans Bill) the Labour Party consistently voted against building up the country’s military capabilities. As late as July 1937 the party abstained in the vote over the final appropriation for defence. This was not a proud record with which to face a Government increasingly committed to the policy of appeasement'